Bayern boss demands focus for Freiburg

09 September 2011 01:30

Bayern Munich's director of sport Christian Nerlinger has warned his side not to be distracted by next week's Champions League trip to Spain when they face Freiburg in the German league on Saturday.

Bayern are top of the Bundesliga after four matches, but can ill afford another slip up having already lost at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach at the start of the season.

Three consecutive league victories have put the Bayern top of the table and Nerlinger says his side must concentrate if they want to stay there.

With Champions League games against Villarreal, next Wednesday, and Manchester City, on September 27, on the horizon, Bayern have some big games looming.

"You can't underestimate any Bundesliga club," said Nerlinger.

"We slipped up at home to Moenchengladbach, and that mustn't happen again.

"This is the kind of fixture you have to win. We're top of the league now, and three more points would mean we've established ourselves there.

"So the target is clear: we want all three points."

Bayern will be without Dutch winger Arjen Robben, who is still recovering from a groin strain, but Germany striker Mario Gomez, who scored a hat-trick against Kaiserslautern a fortnight ago in the league, is set to start.

Freiburg have dropped eight points in their opening games, but in Senegal striker Papiss Cisse, who has already scored four goals in four games, they have a deadly finisher.

Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp will reshuffle his midfield to cover for banned Germany star Mario Goetze when the champions host Hertha Berlin on Saturday.

Goetze was shown a red card for retaliation in Dortmund's goalless draw with fellow Champions League side Bayer Leverkusen a fortnight ago and is banned for the next two German league games.

The most obvious candidate to replace Goetze at the heart of Dortmund's midfield is Poland captain Jakub Blaszczykowski -- known as Kuba for short -- who scored in the 2-2 draw with Germany on Tuesday in a friendly in Gdansk.

Dortmund host Premier League side Arsenal in their opening Champions League group match next Tuesday, when Goetze will be available again, but Klopp says his side must stamp their authority on Hertha.

After two wins, a draw and a defeat from their opening four games, Dortmund are sixth in the table and Klopp says his side must raise their game against Berlin.

"It is necessary that we get stuck into the season, but we are well on the way," he said. "I expect a very lively performance."

With his side second in the table, Schalke 04 coach Ralf Rangnick will again be without ex-Germany defender Christoph Metzelder at Wolfsburg on Sunday as the centre-back struggles to recover from a hamstring injury.

The 30-year-old played in the Royal Blues friendly win over third division side Rot-Weiss Oberhausen on Tuesday, but Rangnick says it is still too soon to bring him back to German league action.

Third-placed Werder Bremen host Hamburg on Saturday night also chasing their third win of the season as they get used to life without Germany centre-back Per Mertesacker, who has signed for Arsenal.


Augsburg v Bayer Leverkusen


Borussia Dortmund v Hertha Berlin

Bayern Munich v Freiburg

Mainz 05 v Hoffenheim

VfB Stuttgart v Hanover 96

Borussia M'gladbach v Kaiserslautern

Werder Bremen v Hamburg


Cologne v Nuremberg

VfL Wolfsburg v Schalke 04

Source: AFP

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 16:17